Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing around with new versions of ceviche, and have a trio of presentations that we were quite happy with at the various dinners.

150321ceviche
First up, a simple whitefish ceviche – lenguado and mero – or sole and grouper – cured for roughly 30 minutes in our “basic cure” – equal parts lemon and lime juices, grated garlic, ginger and celery, salt, black pepper. Lined up on the plate with red onion, cilantro, and finely diced rocoto chilies. And then a rocoto “cream” spooned over the dish – basically, rocotos, lemon peel, celery, leeks, onion, and garlic cooked slowly in olive oil, then make a mayo using rice wine vinegar and lemon juice, an egg yolk, and the olive oil from the cooking process, and finally puree in the cooked vegetables, salt and pepper to taste. Vegetarian version offered made with thinly sliced hearts of palm.

150322prawncausa
Technically not a ceviche, but inspired by the above, as I really like how the rocoto cream turns out. A new take on our causa – mashed potatoes flavored with olive oil instead of butter, and then, the bottom layer with lemon juice and ají amarillo, the Peruvian yellow chilies, the second layer with lime and pureed green onion, and then freshly cooked prawns that are tossed in the rocoto cream like a shrimp salad along with red onion and cilantro. Finally, a black olive mayo zigzagged over the top. Again, a vegetarian version offered up with hearts of palm.

150328shellfishceviche
And, finally, a new favorite, a mixed shellfish ceviche – quickly cooked small shrimp, thinly sliced calamari, and cockles, then a sort of half cure, half sauce of pickled jalapeños, orange and lime juices, cilantro stems, egg yolk and cornstarch, salt and white pepper – all blended together and then heated until it thickens, sort of like making a pastry cream, then strained, chilled, and tossed with the shellfish for about 15 minutes before serving, with red onion, cilantro, and chopped black olives. Underneath, a sweet pea “mousselline” – 3 parts cooked potato, 3 parts boiled peas, 1 part heavy cream, pureed together, then salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste. Given that I’d used three different shellfish, I couldn’t very well just offer up a vegetarian version with only hearts of palm – so a trio there as well – hearts of palm, small white butter beans, and diced butternut squash to the same effect.

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On the Lamb

2015.Mar.26 Thursday
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In rapid succession eleven days ago, we fired off our ingredient choices – ginger from Jennifer, lamb from Kevin, blue cheese from me. Yes, Kevin picked lamb before, but that was a year ago, let’s see what we can do with it this time around. Jennifer doesn’t like blue cheese she informs us. Embrace the […]

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Bite Marks #13

2015.Mar.21 Saturday
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I’m late to the party in checking out Olaya, Humboldt 1550 in Palermo. Why, you might ask? After all, we tend to head out to Peruvian restaurants, fusion or classic, pretty much all the time. It’s because of expectations, no question. The chef was the leading light behind places like Osaka, the Sipan restaurants, and […]

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“B” is for Berenjena

2015.Mar.19 Thursday
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I had so much fun with the new vegetable cookery class last week, that I started thinking, maybe I should work my way through all the vegetables available here, and stay on the “A”s – but, I’d already put the progression through the alphabet out there, I can always go back later and play with […]

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The Gorriti Pasta Project

2015.Mar.18 Wednesday
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There are three famous Gorritis in Argentine history. The first, José Ignacio de Gorriti, was an Argentine statesman and military officer, probably most famous in those arenas, respectively, as both a signatory to the Congress of Tucumán and subsequent declaration of independence for Argentina and later as the governor of the province of Salta, and […]

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Plate o’Squidlets & Egg

2015.Mar.17 Tuesday
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Isn’t that purty? The new plate of the week, and a pretty much wow hit all around. Chipirones, baby squid, cleaned and quickly sauteed in smoked paprika oil and finished with just a touch of sea salt. Accompanied by a sous vide (66°) egg. The sauce underneath, slow cooked onions, garlic, chili, and the squidlet […]

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“A” is for Acelga

2015.Mar.11 Wednesday
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Acelga is the Spanish name for Chard. Chard, in turn, goes by a variety of names, Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, bright lights, seakale beet, and mangold – and in South Africa it’s generally just called spinach, despite being a different vegetable entirely. Chard is a member of the beet family, […]

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Main-Lining

2015.Mar.09 Monday
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A trio of main courses, the principales, from the last week or so of dinners, with public and private events crossing our threshold. Let’s begin at the fish. As you might have noticed over the last month or so, I’ve been on a little bit of a kimchi kick. Having tried a few different versions, […]

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Cookery from the Isle of the Seven Cities

2015.Mar.05 Thursday
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We managed to pull it off. It was the most uncoordinated and contentious effort so far in our online cooking challenge series. Days before the event Jenn fired off that she’d already picked her ingredient, the humble avocado. Rather than doing a more or less simultaneous reveal of food stuffs, Kevin and I now found […]

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